Golfer sues club after he was kicked out for playing too much golf, if there's such a thing
Golf Culture

Golfer sues club after he was kicked out for playing too much golf, if there’s such a thing


How much golf is too much golf?

Of course, there's no such thing as too much golf -- that is, until your body can't handle it any more.

However, one of the highest-profile clubs in the United Kingdom believed one of its members was playing too much golf, and they booted him from the club. In response, the man sued.

According to The Times in the United Kingdom (via Golf Digest), an Australian man has sued Sunningdale Golf Club in England after they revoked his membership because he played golf too often. The club alleges 72-year-old John Cawood played 30 times at the club in 2015, a figure too high for a foreigner carrying a $1,500 overseas membership.

Cawood said in court on Nov. 12 he joined the club in 1997 and spent approximately three months each year in the U.K.

Club members apparently became upset in 2011 at how frequently Cawood played, suggesting he should then have paid for a full club membership, which costs $5,500 annually. The initiation fee for full membership is approximately $75,000.

The club claimed to have spoken to Cawood about his frequent play in 2014, suggesting he was one the 30 most frequent players at the club that year. The club claimed Cawood formed a company in the U.K. in 2014, further raising concerns.

The club claimed Cawood had been in the U.K. for 11 months spanning between 2014 and 2015, making him a resident as he stayed longer than a six-month tourist visa would allow. Cawood's partner is a British citizen, allowing him to remain in the country on a spouse's visa as the pair remained in the country to take care of his partner's ill parents.

Cawood said the club never made him aware of a problem, simply revoking his membership. He also claimed he didn't play 30 times in 2015. He said the last time he played that many rounds was in 2006, and he claimed to pay a per-round round rate.

The plaintiff is seeking to have his membership restored and damages for the reputational harm.

About the author


Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]

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